Saber Marionette Fan Fiction ❯ Gifts ❯ The Calendar of Death ( Prologue )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
A Saber Marionette Fan Fiction
Lady Aoi

Summary: Hanagata only wants one thing for Christmas this year...
Rating: PG for mild shounen-ai and language in the first version, R for yaoi in the "Director's Cut" ^^
Disclaimer: I don't own SMJ or Christmas.
Apologia: Okay, I know the concept of this fic may seem very odd, considering I'm writing a fan fiction about people who are more or less Japanese both culturally and religiously celebrating a holiday which is frankly an Occidental construction. However, given the playful nature of Saber Marionette J and some of the more "Western" aspects of Japoness culture as presented in the series (Otaru's Mick Jaggeresque wardrobe from Episode 15 of SMJ being the most notable of them), I didn't think a fan fiction in which the cast celebrated Christmas would be asking readers to for an entirely unreasonable "willing suspension of disbelief", especially given some of the more illogical and odd things that happen in the course of the series. Keep in mind, too, that the Christmas celebrated in this fan fiction is a purely secular one, the message and spirit of which are more "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" than The Gospel According to Matthew and more X-mas than Christmas.

~December 8th~


Hanagata Mitsurugi looked up from dusting off his collection of Otaru Mamiya figurines. "Yes, come in, Yumeji."

The door to Hanagata's room slid slowly open and Yumeji, Hanagata's eight-year-old brother, entered, his hands hidden behind his back. "Hey, Onii-sama," he said, giving his elder brother a large gap-toothed smile and bowing. "Guess what?"

"What, Yumeji? Oh! You'd like an after school snack. Very well, I'll make you something as soon as I'm finished cleaning my collection."

"Well, I'd love some tea and pocky," Yumeji confessed, looking over his shoulder in the direction of the apartment's small kitchen. "But that's not exactly it."


"Nope! I made something for you today at school!"

"Really?" Hanagata smiled, placing his feather duster onto a nearby table. "Well then," he said, bending down a little to face his younger brother. "I suppose snacks can wait, for a moment."

"Uh-huh! Now close your eyes!"

"Alright, alright," Hanagata sighed indulgently and closed his eyes. "Now will you give me my surprise? Or are you going to distract me all day, you wicked child?"

"Humph! You can be mean yourself sometimes, onii-sama. But, here it is, anyway!" And grinning, Yumeji pressed large piece of cardboard into his brother's hands.
At first, Hanagata kept his eyes closed and simply ran his hands blindly across the object's surface. After failing in this endeavor, however, Hanagata opened his eyes and stared at the thing in his hands.

"Ano..." he said after a moment. "What exactly is it supposed to be, Yumeji."

"It's a Christmas calendar, onii-sama. Here," Yumeji took the object from his brother's hands and sat down on the floor. "Look," he said, gesturing at the eight boxes of the calendar crossed off with red and green marker, "all these crossed off days are the days that happened already. And you take a marker or a crayon and you cross off the days as they go by so you can always know just how long you have before Christmas. Isn't that cool, onii-sama? Onii-sama?"

But Hanagata was currently eyeing the calendar suspiciously. "Yumeji," he said after a moment. "You know we already have a calendar. Was there a special reason for making another one just for this month?"

Yumeji's sudden interest in a small stain on the carpet betrayed him, however. Nodding a little, Hanagata folded his arms over his chest. "Yes, I thought so. Yumeji, after what happened last year, do you honestly think --"

" -- that you'll forget what day it is and leave all your shopping 'til the last moment and end up buying really bad gifts that make Daddy upset enough to put you in the hospital 'til way past the new year?"

Hanagata's left eyebrow twitched slightly. "You really think I'll forget what day it is?"


"Yumeji," Hanagata sighed, placing a friendly arm around his brother's shoulders as he sat down on the floor beside him. "I'm not going to forget Christmas, okay?"

Yumeji gave him a doubtful look.

Hanagata sighed inwardly. "Because I have this wonderful calendar to help remind me!"

Instantly, Yumeji's blue eyes lit up. "You really like it, onii-sama?"

"Yes. Especially like the glitter and the -- the silver fuzzy thing in the corner."

"So you'll use it, right?"

"Of course, ototo-chan."

"Yay!" Yumeji hugged his brother tightly as Hanagata's telephone rang. "Onii-sama, I just know this is gonna be the best Christmas ever!"

"I think so too, Yumeji. Now, why don't you go start the tea while I answer the telephone, hm?"


Hanagata chuckled as his younger brother raced from the room, nearly tripping over his shoes along the way.

~Christmas *will* be better this year,~ he reminded himself for the fourtieth time that day as he reached for the receiver. ~And if I can get Otaru-kun the present he wants then perhaps... perhaps...~

"Moshi moshi," Hanagata smiled as visions of himself and Otaru cuddling before a warm fire danced in his head. Yes, this would be the best Christmas ever.

"Do you always let your father wait for five rings before answering the damn telephone, Mitsurugi?"

"E...." To Hanagata, it felt as if his heart had momentarily leapt into his throat and frozen there. "Uuuuuuuur...."

"Well, speak up, boy! God knows I don't have all day!"

"Ano... gomen nasai, daddy!" Hanagata bowed to the telephone. "I -- I was talking to Yumeji and --"

"No, you were wasting valuable time you could be spending learning how to manage a business mulling over your damned trinket collection."

"But --"

"Don't interrupt me!"

"H--hai, Daddy."

"Don't worry, Mitsurugi. I won't keep you away from your toys for very long. I'm just calling to remind you not to make any plans for Christmas morning."

"Of course not, Daddy!"

"You and Yumeji will be spending Christmas morning and all of Christmas day at Joshyua. This is your only reminder, Mitsurugi. I don't want half the damn morning to be wasted while Yumeji and I wait for Pinsuke to pry you away from that Mamiya boy you're always annoying."

"Hai, Daddy...."

"Don't you dare give me that empty, cavalier "hai, Daddy", you ungrateful spoilt bastard!"

"Oh!" Hanagata winced, raising a hand to his heart and bowing his head slightly.

"By the time you dragged your lazy good-for-nothing ass home last year, breakfast was cold and our entire Christmas was ruined!"

"Yes, I remember..."

"Then you also remember what I told you I would do if you ever ruined another Christmas for the Hanagata family."

Hanagata nodded. "You said you'd break every bone in my miserable body, and that would only be the beginning of my troubles."

"Am I a man of my word, Mitsurugi?"

Hanagata barely dared whisper. "Hai, Daddy."

"You know your father well, boy. So, are you going to be on time Christmas morning?"

"Hai, Daddy."

"Good. Now that we've confirmed your schedule, please feel free to go back to dusting your little toys. I'll see you on the Twenty-Fifth... with that new silk robe I want."

"Hai, Daddy."


"Good-bye," Hanagata whispered into the dial tone. Slowly, he lowered the telephone back into its cradle and closed his eyes.

"No, I'm not going to do it... I'm not going to..." Hanagata bowed his head as a familiar wetness betrayed both his face and his resolve. Slowly, he raised his hands and rubbed at his eyes.

~But this won't help at all, will it?~ he asked himself. ~ If I just sit here crying then everything will be the same as last year. I'll be too upset to buy anyone presents, or put up Christmas decorations or --"

"Onii-sama?!? Are you off the phone yet?!? The tea's getting real cold!!!"

"Coming, Yumeji!" Hanagata sighed.

~Or make sure Yumeji's Christmas is more merry than last year's four hours in the hospital were....~

"No," Hanagata murmured, standing up slowly. "I refuse to let Daddy ruin Christmas for me! Yes, that's right!!" he cried, jabbing his finger at his father's photograph which hung from the wall. "No more cowering at the sight of your shadow, Daddy! No more running away from the sound of your voice, and above all --" he wiped his eyes with his free hand. "No more crying! I am going to make certain that this is the best Christmas of all time. Not just for Yumeji and me, but for... everyone."

The telephone rang again.

"Eh?" Hanagata reached out and picked it up. "Moshi Moshi?"


And once again, the sound of loud sobbing rang through the apartment, startling Yumeji almost enough to drop his tea.

"Why does this" *sniff* "Always happen to me?!?"